July 31, 2006, - 3:17 pm

EXCLUSIVE: ICE Official Gave Away Undercover Techniques/Methods to “Miami Vice” Stars, Filmmakers

By Debbie Schlussel
Jesus Torres, the apparently star-struck Miami Special Agent in Charge for ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement), is in hot water for giving away undercover drug ops sources and methods to “Miami Vice” stars Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx and the movie’s scriptwriters and producers. (My review of this terrible, anti-Israel, pro-Cuba movie is here. Read about the movie’s attack on Israel here.)
Specific ways undercover drug buys and deals are done were disclosed in the movie, which was number one at the box office, this weekend.

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Only an Idiot Would Show These Idiots Undercover Ops.

Torres–whom agents describe as a “musclehead” body-builder with little intellect or qualifications for his top ICE position–was apparently so dazzled by the chance to meet “Miami Vice” actors Farrell and Foxx, that he took them to the SAC (Special Agent In Charge offices) Miami undercover storefront operation during the production of the film. Showing them the top-secret, classified facility–and how it operates!–was unauthorized by ICE authorities. Torres’ boss, Marcy Forman-Friedman a/k/a “Peppermint Patty,” was justifiably perturbed about it and reportedly suspended him.
This man, Torres, shouldn’t be suspended. He should be fired. But since ICE wouldn’t fire Torres’ friend, then-Special Agent in Charge Frank Figueroa a/k/a “Frankie the Fig,” for committing a sex crime against a teen-ager, don’t expect much more to happen to big mouth Torres. Loose lips sink ships . . . and endanger federal agents. But if you have friends in the right places at ICE, they don’t sink careers.
But that was before the movie came out. Now that the movie is in theaters, agents who have been involved in undercover work and who’ve seen the movie say it is clear that Torres gave out way too much information. They say operational techniques made it to the screen and fear it will jeopardize agents lives. Drug dealers watch these movies and know that all of them have “law enforcement consultants” who work on them. (After 9/11, terrorists–Hezbollah finances its operations through a large drug operation based in the Bekaa Valley– said they watched American movies to get ideas.)
They also fear that Farrell and Foxx may have friends and contacts in Hollywood who are involved in the drug trade, as is common among many movie stars and with whom they may share information on what they saw and learned through their new friend, Special Agent in Charge Torres.
The problem is not just Torres. It is the incredible lack of good people promoted by ICE “leadership.” If Forman-Friedman and soon-to-be-departing ICE chieftess Julie L. Myers a/k/a “The ICE Princess” actually appointed qualified people–instead of cronies–Torres would never have been in the position to give away important confidential law enforcement information to airhead actors from Hollywood. The fish rots from the head down and Julie Myers is the rotten current head.
Although ICE’s Undercover Review Committee hasn’t approved a new drug, arms, or money laundering undercover operation in years–largely because ICE has dropped all old Customs investigations and focuses mostly on immigration enforcement–there are still old investigations that are ongoing, as well as many other federal and local law enforcement parties and officials who use the same techniques and methods in undercover operations.
Another problem is not just the drug trade. Agents say that international weapons dealers and smugglers–such as an Iranian arms dealer caught by Torres’ Miami ICE office–are caught using many of the same methods the new “Crockett & Tubbs” got to see. Ditto for money laundering. But ICE is not involved much anymore in these kinds of investigations, making American more vulnerable, not safer from these kinds of crimes with the Homeland Security reorganization, creation of ICE, and elimination of Customs.
ICE still gives lip service to these investigations for the purposes of positive PR for Julie Myers. But in fact they are not being done, and we are less safe. Now we can thanks Myers et al for Special Agent Torres’ legacy, which they can add to their career epitaphs.
ICE . . . It’s the comedy that keeps on giving. Joke’s on you, America.
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ICE’s John Clark, Julie L. Myers a/k/a “The ICE Princess, Detention & Removal Honcho/Self Promoter John Torres a/k/a “Costanza,” and New $30-$50K ICE Detention & Removal Baseball Officer Tommy LaSorda

(ICEfeld by Assistant Homeland Security Secretary for PhotoShop David Lunde)

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5 Responses

Gee, you know those Hollywood types are so enlightened I’m sure Torres only exposed the actors to secret operations so as to get their input given their vast knowledge of law enoforcement! :)

Tiny on July 31, 2006 at 3:23 pm

I find it curious that Jamie Foxx in that pic looks almost identical to the real Malcolm X.
Colin Farrell, on the other hand, looks like he could use a shampoo.

Thee_Bruno on July 31, 2006 at 5:29 pm

Save your money on this one! Michael Mann did a terrible job on account of wanting to distance it from the series as much as possible.
As a result, there were no good characters; Gina and “big booty”Trudy were foul mouthed, skinny b*&^&s
As much as Mann tried to bring Vice into the 21st century, he went ahead with an 80’s story line about drug cartels–Crocket and Tubbs would be busting kiddie porn pushers nowadays.

melati on August 1, 2006 at 10:26 am

P.S. the script was terrible and so was the acting. Crockett had an Irish accent!

melati on August 1, 2006 at 10:27 am

Miami Vice rocks
I went to see Miami Vice the other night, I wanted to do it without reading anything or hearing anything from anybody, and I managed to do that.
I’ll start out by saying Wow! Fantastic!
The opening sequences are the epitome of the Miami club scene, fantastic music as is always the case in Michael Mann’s movies. I couldn’t help moving with the beat.
Something you notice immediately about this movie is the manner in which its shot, lots of tight close frames that actually give something of a closed in feel, this works well in these opening sequences where people are packed into this club, immediately you get the sense of being in the crowd, a rather confusing mass of arms and bodies and faces. Somehow this is indicative of Miami. It’s a technique which sets up a pattern throughout much of the rest of the movie. It seems as if the steady cam is turned off much of the time, as if you were actually walking or moving your head in the scenes. Quite daring I think.
The opening action sequences are confusing from the audience’s perspective you’ve just stepped into Crockett and Tubbs’s life in the middle of some kind of operation. No set up whatsoever. This doesn’t much matter since you’re being given so much to look at, you hardly notice you don’t have any idea what’s going on initially.
Immediately we move to a speeding car flying underneath the yellow orange sodium lights which dominate the highways overpasses and flyovers of Miami. From there to a shot of the Miami skyline taken from the top of one of a downtown building, the sodium lights stretching to the horizon. Somehow this Miami is a more accurately portrayed than any I’ve seen in any movie to date. It’s only at this point do we get an idea of what’s happening in the storyline.
I should say spoiler alert, but I don’t think anything I tell you about what happens in the story could spoil this movie. So read on if you dare.
We move to a shot of a drug deal gone bad, which is something of an understatement. Be warned the violence in this movie is brutal and vicious. The exchange of gunfire in this scene is the type of thing you might see in Iraq right now. 50 caliber sniper rifles opening up on a vehicle, and the frighteningly realistic effects of those projectiles on that vehicle and the people inside, shockingly depicted in painfully slow motion.
From there we go to a roadside scene under the sodium lights again where we get to see something that only Florida State Troopers and traffic cops usually run across. The money shot is only a few seconds, but it is sickeningly realistic as well.
It’s obvious that this movie was shot during the summer, the moisture in the air distorting the lights into a kind of diffuse halo so familiar to anyone who’s lived here. In the summertime Miami is about as tropical as cities get in the US. This is in contrast to the night shots in Michael Mann’s last movie Collateral, where the lights are crystal clear in the dry air of LA.
We are only 10 minutes into the movie, and we’ve already seen more action than you would normally see in the first 30 minutes of your standard action flick. It’s a good thing you only get small doses because it’s very intense.
Although Miami is a virtually flat city with no geographic elevation changes, between the high-rise shots, the elevated highway shots, and a downtown rooftop parking garage shot, the cinematographer has given us multiple perspectives of the same area, providing a relieving counterpoint to the earlier tight shot technique, setting up another visual theme throughout the movie, multiple perspectives of all the locations and action. This method moves you from being an observer from a distance, to intimately involved in the moment.
At this point I think I began to realize that the dialogue was less important than the shots of people’s faces. They were telling the story while the dialogue just filled in some of the gaps.
Again we are immediately transported to the site of a bust, once again closing in the camera work to tight shots which create the feeling of confusion once again. You find yourself on the ground as if you were the perp being cuffed. At this point I heard the Haitian Creole phrase “ferme bouche” (shut your mouth) something one of my friends says to me often. It’s rather rude, the kind of thing that either makes someone smile, or makes them angry, depending on where it’s coming from. Nice bit of realism.
Next we are given a Florida morning shot from a condo on the beach, hazy and undefined, it’s hard to tell exactly where the clouds and sky end and the water begins.
Naomi Harris, the British actress from 28 Days Later plays Trudy in this movie. She’s hot and she can act. We see her in a shower scene with Jamie Foxx using the same tight shots once again. Nice to see people bodies depicted as they really are in these situations. The shots are intimate without being graphic or vulgar in any way. The bodies of the actors are not objectified just shown. Between the city night shots and these scenes you begin getting a sensation of heat that seems to build throughout the movie. Heat is a big part of the life down here, and it seems to affect everything, people’s sexuality not the least. A level of warmth is also reflected in the actors emotional behavior in this scene giving you an idea of their relationship.
Next we find ourselves in South America, an entirely different place, but the heat keeps building. Multiple images cross over each other and blend together transporting you along without anything being said. If you look here you’ll notice another continuing theme throughout the movie, shots of people’s hands moving through the shadows blurring and swinging out of frame drawing your eyes but reminding you that things are happening outside of the shot that you can’t see.
Next you see Ricardo on a Lear jet, and we are transported to Haiti. Stitched together power lines over narrow streets and old small buildings from the 40s and 50s, peeling paint and pastel colors with a kind of fluorescent Caribbean twist. Here we get to see Crockett and Tubbs do their undercover thing, revealing themselves to be just as crazy as the people they go after. Some of that famous attitude that these characters had in the old show is touched upon.
This isn’t a remake of Miami Vice, its Miami Vice with the volume turned all the way up to 2006. I think this was the show that Michael Mann wanted to make all along. Maybe we’re just now getting to see it.
In one of the first scenes, with Li Gong (Isabella) we see close-ups of people’s hands again, so close you can see the imperfections in her manicure. Looks and glances are saying things well beyond the surface dialogue, and none of it is obvious or overly contrived.
Once again we are off, this time on some of the most advanced civilian turboprop aircraft available today skating through the kind of rugged vertical greenery you’ll only find on mountainous Caribbean islands like Hispaniola, beautiful aviation footage.
The locations change so fast it’s hard to keep track, next we are in the Overtown part of Miami with another kind of aging architecture, the kind that’s disappearing all over South Florida except in those depressed areas where no one has an interest in rebuilding. From there to a high dollar modern home on the water in the old Florida style, manicured grounds contrasted with wild mangrove on an island nearby.
Soon Crockett takes off with Isabella for Cuba. This reminded me of when my mother was young, and everyone who lived or came to Miami would always go to Cuba. As in the movie, with a fast boat on a calm day you could hit the northern coast of Cuba in an hour from Key West. If it weren’t for Castro, everyone would go there on the weekends still.
Again you can feel the heat, heat permeates this movie. And the sexuality which comes between the male and female characters seems to follow as a natural result of that heat. This is the Caribbean and the Florida that I know. The camera work which felt so closed in during the action shots effectively pulls you into these scenes between the men and women making you almost a part of the intimacy.
There is a second shower scene, this time with Crockett and Isabella, sunlight filtering in revealing them selectively. Dark hair matted across Li Gong’s wet skin glowing in the warm sun, so close you can almost feel her.
The Digital filmmaking used in this movie seems to reveal a depth and quality of detail different from film. The texture of skin and the subtleties of sweat on a brow are somehow different and new in this film. Some of the shots even have grainy quality, but this distortion seems to add to the realism of those images somehow.
Late in the movie we get to see some of those familiar blue under bridges and elsewhere perhaps paying homage to what was so common to the Miami Vice TV show.
Michael Mann does violence the way no one else seems able to capture, all in your face. It’s rather unappealing much like real violence, just rather awful and final.
Once one of their own gets injured Crockett takes it personal and we get to see the danger inherent in his personality. Much like the original show, Tubbs doesn’t have a lot of lines, but Jamie doesn’t seem to need them to make his presence felt. He’s always there to back up his partners, no-frills or hype or funny lines, just business.
As the music is queued up at the culmination of almost every dramatic scene we are again given shots of hands, gripping the edge of a doorway, removing an explosive device, holding the phone, tapping a keyboard, limp on the ground after an explosion. It’s a subtle and effective dramatic device throughout the movie.
We see the aftermath of violence as the cops wait in the hospital to see if one of their friends is going to make it. The last shot in the ICU is Tubbs’s hand holding on to Trudy.
I’m not sure if this is an art film masquerading as entertainment or an action flick masquerading as an art film, but I am sure that Michael Mann has woven something together which is a work of art, and more entertaining than most movies that try much harder to entertain. Like good writers and storytellers always do, Mann gives just what is needed to tell the story, and discards the rest. This movie is all meat, no side dishes
In the final showdown, Mann proves once again that he is the undisputed master of the firefight. The audio recording of the gunfire is nothing less than a masterwork. The actors were obviously using full loads or better judging by the sound and muzzle flashes. When experts go to work with automatic weapons people get perforated by gunfire, it isn’t pretty or glorious just deadly. When Jamie Foxx opens up with his shotgun, just like the old Tubbs once did, the 12 gauge does the talking and the people who hear it don’t hear anything else again. Lots of cheers and clapping from the crowd in the movie theater when the bad guys go down in this scene, very satisfying.
There’s also something of a sniper shoot out which emphasizes the importance of getting the first shot in, as opposed to the size or effectiveness of your weapon.
All in all a stupendous flick which proves that a great action flick can also be a well told story. It’s the kind of movie I’ll watch again and again soaking up all the visual imagery with delight.
I like it so much I think I’m going to have to write a real review, wait a minute I think I just did that.
If you appreciate real movies, quality entertainment and superior artistry in cinematography, do yourself a favor and go see it. You won’t be disappointed.
I predict many awards for this film, and Oscar nominations for best picture, best director and cinematography.

Aaron on August 1, 2006 at 11:27 am

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